Every mom's journey towards motherhood is different; some moms never have morning sickness, others endure all day nausea for months on end. Some women deliver after only a few pushes, others go through days of labor. No matter the experience, all moms do amazing things to bring their babies into the world.
Today, we're celebrating some incredible Brave Moms who were willing to share their stories and photos with us.
Alyxandriah sent us the stunning photos of her journey from pre-pregnancy to postpartum.
Ruth shared her photo and thoughts: "37 weeks belly. Unable to be pictured: hips that have given out, a lower back that has followed, a bladder that now requires emptying multiple times an hour, anticipatory joy of meeting baby girl very soon now! I may never have a flat stomach again, but a belly that held life is more beautiful than a 6-pack any day!"
Sina's beautiful maternity photos.
Courtney sent us this photo of herself at 37 weeks, with a quick story about her journey: "This huge scar that I once hated is from an emergency surgery when I was eight years old...getting to have a cesarean on my terms when I gave birth to my son redeemed the traumatic experience of the surgery that left this scar. I embrace my unique body and its ability to produce life, along with the scars that tell beautiful and redemptive stories."
After her baby was delivered, Courtney sent us an update: "I'm overjoyed to let you know my baby girl was born...via an unmedicated VBAC. Labor started on its own and progressed quickly. It was amazing to experience the birth path that my heart desired, despite many supposed limitations that I had to overcome."
Rachelle shared her picture and story with us: "Me & my husband during my worst contraction!!! We had our 1st baby, a boy on December 24th!!! Merry Christmas to us. I am brave!!! I got to have my unmedicated birth with a midwife...my husband tells me I'm brave but really I think I'm just stubborn."
Pure perfection: Melissa and her baby girl skin to skin immediately after a C-section.
Jenny's little boy was born 5 weeks early via an emergency C-section: "He was in the NICU for 2 weeks fighting respiratory distress syndrome. It was so hard because I had taken 10 weeks of natural childbirth classes and had my heart set on a natural birth. I pumped every two hours around the clock the whole time he was in the hospital so he only ever got my milk...after weeks of working with a Lactation consultant he learned to latch without a nipple shield. We are still nursing at 19 months."
Emily's message about bravery in motherhood: "My daughter made me brave. She made me strive to be not only a stronger woman but a stronger, braver mom. I'm proud of my new body. Women go to war with their own bodies for a grueling 9 months and have scars, stretch marks, and loose skin to show for it. Mothers are Amazons. I couldn't truly appreciate it until I had my Alice. I've earned my stripes and I don't mind showing them off."
Emma sent in this wonderful photo of her adorable baby and beautiful postpartum stomach.
Deborah's tandem feeding photo is a powerful testament to the incredible things moms do for their children.
Thank you so much to the amazing moms who shared their brave pictures and stories. Have a story to share? Post in the comments below and tell us what makes you brave!